Imagine a US city where one bike lane leads to the next, connecting communities while making cycling more accessible and attractive to all. Bike lanes are a common occurrence in places like Denmark and the Netherlands but have only recently arrived on US soil. Thanks to PeopleforBikes and their Green Lane Project, protected bike lanes have been popping up all over in the US. To fuel the Green Lane Project, PeopleForBikes has been bringing US city leadership delegates to Copenhagen for a 5-day workshop on how to transform US streets called the Citybuilders Symposium. These new bike lanes have not only made it easier and safer to travel by bike from point A to point B, but they’ve also had a positive impact on the surrounding economy by increasing retail sales, bringing in new business and increasing real estate values.
To continue this trend, PeopleForBikes has opened up applications to cities and towns for the next phase in their US bike lane takeover - The Big Jump. The Big Jump is on a mission to prove that when a community completes a network of places to ride and encourages people to use it, bike use will double or triple over a three-year period. “Protected bike lanes were an important first step,” said PeopleForBikes VP of Local Innovation, Martha Roskowski. “The next step is connecting them with quiet neighborhood streets, separated pathways, and safe crossings to build complete networks.”
The Big Jump is on the search for 10 diverse cities, small towns, neighborhoods and suburbs that have strong leaders and share their vision. Specifically, they are looking for places that see value in improving access to jobs and opportunity in disadvantaged neighborhoods, tackling the suburban challenge of connecting transit hubs and town centers, connecting paths to encourage outdoor activity, contributing to local tourism and creating an overall positive bike culture. This project is meant to help the chosen places achieve their goals, quantify benefits of their success, and develop a set of best practices that can then be used to replicate their efforts in other similar areas.
If you see potential for the Big Jump to create positive change in your community, encourage local leaders to apply. Applications are now being accepted at www.bigjumpproject.com. The deadline to apply is October 28th, 2016 and selected cities will be announced in January 2017.
Check out the video from Kyle Wagenschutz, the Director of Local Innovation at PeopleForBikes for more information.